The Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra has a lengthy history.  In 1960, the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music (LACM) inaugurated a curriculum, which included an orchestra for high school students with outstanding musical talent.  In 1969, that program became the Youth Orchestra of the School of Music at California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts). 

In 1985 Cal Arts sponsored the formation of the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra Foundation to administer and raise funds for the orchestra program.  The Foundation was established October 1986 by Dave and Sue Bozman as a non-profit organization. We celebrated 30 years as an incorporated non-profit entity in 2016.

The orchestra relocated to College of the Canyons in January 1989 when the SCVYO was granted residence at COC. The program added a successful Prelude Strings section for beginning string musicians in 1996. The young orchestra was re-organized further in 2000 to incorporate intermediate and advanced level orchestras.   Remaining the preeminent youth-based orchestral program in the Santa Clarita Valley and continuing to provide exemplary musical education to meet the growing needs and interests of the community, the SCVYO recently added Guitar Ensemble, Prelude Winds and Brass, the SCV Brass Ensemble and Chamber Music to our core orchestral offerings.  We introduced Novae Sinfonia in 2018, a classical cross-over ensemble for our advanced musicians, with emphasis on 21st Century, non-Western musical genres, as well as the standard canon of classical repertoire. 

The Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra (SCVYO) Foundation, a non-profit organization, supports the fine arts education via orchestral performances. It supports seven ensembles, including Novae SinfoniaOrchestraPrelude Strings and Prelude Winds & Brass, as well as Chamber Music, Guitar Orchestra, and SCV Brass Ensemble.  Rehearsals are conducted in the beautiful campus music facility, Pico Canyon Hall, College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California. Performances take place in the state-of-the-art Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center, adjacent to the rehearsal hall. All ensembles are directed by professional musicians with advanced music degrees. 

Dr. Paul Sherman acted as executive artistic director from 2007-2017, overseeing the SCVYO artistic faculty and our seven ensembles, culminating his 35 year tenure with the SCVYO which he started as youth orchestra student musician, CalArts winds coach, associate conductor, and finally artistic director.  Derrick Spiva, Jr., award-winning composer, musician and conductor was appointed by the SCVYO Foundation as artistic director in 2017.  Derrick brings a global perspective to his compositions and teaching style. He is the creator and artistic founder of our newest ensemble, Novae Sinfonia.  

Several of our young musicians have had the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall during their tenure with the SCVYO, and many of our students have gone on to prestigious music conservatories such as Eastman School of Music, California Institute of the Arts, University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, Juilliard School of Music, Cal Poly School of Music, Curtis School of Music, Tanglewood Summer Institute & Interlaken. Others have gone to outstanding colleges and universities, including Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine, Texas State, Northern Arizona University, USC, CSU-Northridge, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, and many other distinguished universities throughout the Country where our alumni have continued to be involved in music while completing their higher education.

The Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra Foundation seeks to provide an instrumental education program for students eight years and older. Students study all periods of music: from baroque through modern, with opportunities for master classes with Los Angeles’ finest musicians, chamber music performances, and travel. 

Students, through exposure to expert instruction, musical knowledge, and ethnic diversity, acquire a love of beauty, learn to pursue excellence, demonstrate personal growth as musicians, and enrich the cultural life of our community.

The Foundation is registered as a 501 (c) 3 and gladly appreciates donations in support of this community’s long-time orchestral performing arts program. If you have a question, please feel free to Contact Us.